UK union rejects salary offer
The rail union RMT has turned down the latest offers from both Network Rail and most of the passenger train operators in England, some of which provide services in Scotland and Wales. The Rail Delivery Group, which represents industry operators, reacted with dismay to RMT’s rejection of the offer. The rejection came after weeks of negotiations that broke off late on Friday evening. Railway Supply magazine writes about this with reference to RailTech.
The Rail Delivery Group made an offer that guaranteed a pay rise this year and next. However, RMT reports that after extensive and comprehensive consultation with all levels of the union involved in the national railway dispute, their national executive committee has decided to reject the proposals on the grounds that they do not meet the members’ expectations for wages, job security or labor conditions.
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In a statement released immediately after talks broke down, RMT said it is seeking an unconditional wage offer, a job security agreement and is not making any detrimental changes to members’ working conditions and practices. The union says Network Rail’s maintenance plans are unsafe and harmful to their health.
The dispute, primarily between RMT, the operators and Network Rail, is now in its ninth month. Despite a number of close things, the solution still seems far away. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch denied reports that there were no consultations within the union. “We’ve had in-depth consultations and we’ve received a loud and clear message about rejecting these terrible proposals. Our members cannot tolerate violations of their terms or railway safety standards being compromised under the pretext of so-called modernization.”
Further meetings involving the RMT union, Network Rail and RDG have yet to be organized, but all parties say they are ready to work towards a negotiated settlement. The union has a legal mandate that will allow it to call further strikes before the end of May.
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